Sharks are one of the most fascinating and misunderstood creatures of the sea. Despite their fearsome and terrifying appearance—as befits an apex predator of the ocean—they also fulfill important roles in maintaining the balance of fragile aquatic ecosystems of the world. One of these important roles is to keep the population of other marine species in check. Should sharks go extinct, this will inevitably result in many other species overpopulating the oceans, creating an imbalance that would then go on to cause the demise of precious ecosystems.
Unfortunately, sharks today are suffering a dire crisis. As many as 100 of the 470 known species of sharks are considered endangered, with some of those critically close to extinction. The biggest causes of this include their habitats being compromised, being unintentionally caught by commercial fisheries (a phenomenon known as bycatch), as well as being intentionally hunted for their fins in untold numbers. Shark fins are unfortunately a highly sought after delicacy in many countries, most notably in China, and as such, this creates a huge demand for freshly caught sharks.
This is why it’s important to support Shark Awareness Day this coming July 14. Shark Awareness Day is a worldwide effort to celebrate these majestic predators of the big blue sea, and more importantly, to raise awareness about their critical role in the environment, as well as the endangered status that many of them are currently under. Perhaps, with enough fanfare and attention, this global event can spurn governments from all over the world to push for stronger ocean conservation efforts, as well as stronger sanctions against those who seek to harm or hunt sharks.
With all that said, you should look into showing your support for this awesome event as well. Here are some of the ways you can do just that.
Spread the word
One of the best ways to show your support for Shark Awareness Day is by spreading information about it in your local community. You can talk about it to your family, friends, work colleagues, and other people besides. By doing so, you enlighten more individuals about the event and the current plight of sharks. The more people that know about it, the more public support that shark-friendly efforts will have. An example of how to effectively do this is by giving away promotional materials that sport or promote information about Shark Awareness Day, such as posters, flyers, customizable wristbands, lanyards, lapel pins, and so on.
Create shark-related content
Are you an influencer with your own following on social media sites, or perhaps you’re just someone who loves creating content and putting it out there on the Internet? Whichever the case, you can show support by creating content that mainly features sharks or themed around Shark Awareness Day. Make it your advocacy. Such user-generated content will not only help inform people in a more entertaining way, they will also ignite people’s curiosity in learning more about the plight of sharks.
Attend Shark Awareness Day events in your area
Check your country or locality, and see if there’s an event related to Shark Awareness Day being held there. If so, then make sure to show up and attend! The more people partaking in an event, the bigger attention it will receive. If there isn’t one, then look into holding your own. Don’t worry if only a handful of people show up. What’s important is that you supported Shark Awareness Day in a public space, and that’s a small step towards doing even more for sharks in the future.
Donate to ocean conservation efforts, charities, or NGOs
Another way you can support Shark Awareness Day is by donating to verified charities, non-government organizations, or efforts centered around ocean conservation or the protection of endangered marine species like sharks. Such charities and organizations are almost always in need of financial support, so they’ll gladly accept your donation no matter the amount. You can also donate necessities such as food or office supplies for people who do the hard work on the ground.
Convince your friends and family to swear off shark fin food products
If you live in the parts of the world where shark fin is considered a delicacy or a luxury food item, then convince your friends and family to stop consuming it. Shark fin has no scientifically verified health benefits, and it may even cause male sterility in large quantities due to its high mercury content. The only thing that partaking in shark fin products will do is to encourage shark finning, where sharks are caught and then have their fins cut off. Their finless bodies are then dumped back into the ocean to die. The less demand there is for shark fin, the less we’ll see of this cruel and exploitative practice.
Sharks need protecting like any other animal out there
As fearsome as sharks appear to be, both in their natural environment as well as how they’re depicted in movies, they are just as vulnerable as any other endangered species. Action must be taken now, as otherwise, we risk losing these majestic sea creatures to extinction. Do your part in supporting Shark Awareness Day to help prevent sharks disappearing from our oceans forever, as well as stopping the inevitable collapse of our aquatic ecosystems. Every little bit helps!
Feel free to leave questions or comments below, or you can always contact us at Neighbor Goods!